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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Wednesday September 22, 2021

 
Andy Murryt

The former World No.1 prolonged his stay at Metz with a decisive victory over Vasek Pospisil.

Photo Source: AP

Andy Murray is starting to step into his comfort zone on the tennis court again. The former World No.1 is eager to pick up matches down the stretch in 2021, and he is allowing himself to do just that at Metz, where he powered past Canada’s Vasek Pospisil, 6-3, 6-3, on Wednesday to book his spot in the last eight.

Tennis Express

Murray, who topped No.6-seeded Ugo Humbert on Tuesday for his best win by ranking in over a year, produced a similarly eye-opening victory against the Canadian, as he dropped just 11 points on serve and overcame some adversity in the second set to win in relative comfort.


Murray won 18 of 29 second serve return points and broke serve four times on six opportunities against the World No.66.

“I was trying to make him work a lot on his own service games,” said Murray. “He’s got an excellent serve and likes to dictate with the first ball after the serve, so I was trying to focus on getting lots of returns back and when I got the opportunity on the second serve, to try and put some pressure on him – I think I did that well for the most part.”

Pospisil broke early in set two but Murray got right back to work, earning a break point with the Canadian serving at 2-1. He failed to convert in that game, but broke at love to level at three-all and broke once again for 5-3 to take control.

He served out the contest to love, earning a spot in an ATP-level quarterfinal for the first time since October of 2019.

“Even after I went a break down I was still creating chances,” Murray said. “Once I got back in the second set obviously I gained a bit of confidence there and started to serve a little bit better, was a little bit more offensive when he was serving – that’s what turned the match for me.”


Murray is playing his fifth event in a one-month span since the Cincinnati Masters, and he says the extra match time has allowed him to make subtle improvements to his overall tactical awareness.

“This period has been the most tournaments I’ve played,” said Murray. “My body feels good, I’m starting to gain just a little bit of confidence with each match, starting to see the points and how I want to play them again, which is great. There have been times in the last year where I have been a little confused and not seeing how the points are developing. For me it was always a strong part of my game and it made me feel quite uncomfortable on the court when I was feeling that way. So I’m starting to get that back, and the results are coming and my tennis is getting better.”

The Scot will face either Lucas Pouille or Hubert Hurkacz in the quarterfinals on Friday.

Another ATP Quarterfinal for Holger Rune

18-year-old Holger Rune of the Netherlands is creating quite a stir at the Moselle Open. After hammering Spanish lucky loser Bernabe Zapata Miralles, 6-0, 6-0 in round one, he has knocked off fifth-seeded Lorenzo Sonego of Italy, 6-7(6), 6-4, 6-4, for his best career win by ranking and his first ATP quarterfinal on a hard court.


The qualifier will face either No.2-seeded Pablo Carreno Busta or Mikael Ymer in the last eight on Friday.

 

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